The Woodsman – Black Hole (single review)

OK, a few weeks back I was given the new single by The Woodsman for a sneak preview. The song is
called “Black Hole” and is released on June 11. The Woodsman are a brash, loud three piece band
from a town called Bargoed in the arse end of the Rhymney Valley. I grew up 2 miles up the road
from Bargoed so am qualified to say, if you think your town is bad, it’s probably not as bad as
Bargoed. Bargoed has a park where people go to jog and get murdered. When I was 9 I played in a 5
a-side football tournament in Bargoed on RedGra. I scored 2 goals and saw what my knees looked
like with no skin for the first time. It was fine though, my Mum washed the red gravel out of the
joints with undiluted TCP. If anyone wants further detail on why I’m so down on Bargoed, type
“Blisters Bargoed” into YouTube for a glimpse inside its premier night spot.

So, it’s safe to say I’m no fan of Bargoed, you shouldn’t really expect anything that sounds nice to
come out of Bargoed, and The Woodsman certainly don’t sound nice. A three piece consisting of
Jody Davies on Vocal, brother Luke Davies on Bass and Guitar (yes, at the same time, subtlety isn’t a
requirement) and Ross Morton behind the kit. The song smashes in with a nice driving snare beat
that instantly lets you know what you’re in for. The clever riffing of the double kick running us,
mercilessly face first into the onrushing first verse.

First note I made is that there is a definite evolution in The Woodsman’s sound which I like. Even
though the sound is still dense, driven and as subtle as Donald Trump at a Miss World after party, it
has still managed to mature enough to add an extra dimension to the trio’s hardcore sound. Just to
indulge myself with some lazy punk rock comparatives, the sound of The Woodsman has lifted from
the all out aggressive onslaught of Minor Threat or Youth Of Today and into an almost skate punk
singalong of Pennywise or Reagan Youth although without losing any of their edge.

There is a simple hooky, singalong chorus with a single line “Now we escape from the black hole”
and then those great chorus “whoa-oo-oo” chants. It means by the time you listen to this the second
time, you know the chorus and can’t help but sing along. The energy that comes off this record is
palpable and really easy to pick up on, making your feet tap and your head nod, it’s almost a shame
to listen to it outside of a moshpit.

If you want to know what these lads sound like live, well, give this single another spin, turn it up until
your neighbours are phoning the social, close your eyes and absorb the noise coming at you. Picture
the drummer running the band through the song, smashing the kit so violently you’d think he was
Liam Neeson and the kit had kidnapped his daughter. A guitarist making his instrument scream at
you through two different amplifiers at once, one an angry, abusive guitar and the other a rumbling
bass punching you in the liver whilst he is joyfully screaming out backing vocals with a huge smile on
his face. Meanwhile the vocalist stalks the venue with mic in hand, free of the restraints of anything
other than hurling loud catchy choruses into your undeserving faces.

I like this band, I like this song more than any previous song I’ve heard from this band and I’d like to
suggest you listen to it immediately. Then start counting the days until you can leave your house and
go and see them play live. Play it loud.

“Black Hole” is out on June 11 on the mighty Smash Mouse Records on all of the usual streaming sites. Give them a follow on Spotify and Facebook.

Simon Cullen – 29/05/2021

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